I am a 35 year old from Philippines. I have a Spanish citizen girlfriend who wanted to sponsor me to go to Spain. Take note I have never applied for any visa before and so I applied for a single-entry Schengen visit visa on November 15, 2023. My intended travel date is from December 23, 2023 to March 21, 2024 which is exactly 90 days.

Here are the documents I submitted for my application:

  • Cover letter stating the main purpose of my trip is to visit my girlfriend. A brief summary of how and where we first met and that she went to the Philippines twice in the past 2 years and that we travelled together within the Philippines.

  • Application form.

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    I wrote N/A in Current Occupation because I am unemployed and the reason for that is I full time manage our small family business. Which I also mentioned in my cover letter (only the part that I manage our family business).

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    As for the part where who will cover the cost of travelling and living during applicant's stay I mark both even though I don't have money in my bank and my girlfriend will sponsor everything.

  • Carta de Invitacion (Invitation letter from Spanish police). It state relationship with applicant is "Amistad" which I believe translate to "friend"

  • My bank certificate and bank statement of for the last 6 months.

  • My girlfriend's bank certificate, statement of account for last 6 months, DNI, Passport, Empadronamento

  • Some screenshots of our text and chats conversation and pictures of me and my girlfriend together to serve as a proof of our relationship.

Unfortunately I received the refusal letter on November 24, 2023. It says "The visa has been refused" with the following reasons:

  • Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided.
  • You have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay...
  • You have not provided proof that you are in a position to lawfully
    acquire sufficient means of subsistence...
  • The information submitted regarding justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable.
  • There are reasonable doubts as to your intention to leave the territory of the Member of States before the expiry of the visa.

Now here are the mistakes that I think I made during my application:

  • I didn't include a sponsorship letter from my girlfriend saying that she will will sponsor everything.
  • I marked both the options of who will cover the cost of travel and living.
  • I mentioned girlfriend in my cover letter and application form when in the carta de invitacion it says amistad
  • I mentioned "explore Spain" in my application form as additional information on purpose of stay since maybe it made the officer think I am going for tourism instead of visiting my girlfriend and that contradicted the "visiting family/friend" I marked as main purpose of journey.

I know my application is of great disaster and so here are my questions. Should I appeal for reconsideration? If yes can I include new supporting documents when I submit my appeal? or should I just try to apply again? If yes is it okay to apply again immediately after my first refusal result? it hasn't been a week since I got the refusal.

  • 2
    Spain refused 4.5% of visa applications in 2022 so your chances were not too bad overall. However you have undoubtedly worsened the odds by acquiring a refusal through failing to prepare properly Having no prior travel history is a big negative, work on fixing that by holidaying with your gf in a country(s) you can enter visa-free.
    – Traveller
    Nov 25, 2023 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


I don't know anything about Spain specifically but in general, appeals are useful if you want dispute a point of law, especially if no other avenue is available. An appeal is typically longer, more expensive, and more complex than a fresh application and I really don't see how it would be successful in your case as the decision seems easy to justify given the facts presented to the consulate.

Do note that your situation may simply make it very difficult to get a short-stay visa, even if you did everything right in your application. The officer chose five different reasons to refuse it (when one is enough) and some of these reasons will be very difficult to overcome. The main hurdles for you are

  • You are effectively unemployed. The consulate will not be swayed by your statement that you manage the family business if you cannot prove it and may still be suspicious even if you could do that. You didn't mention that in your list of mistakes so it seems you do not realise how damaging this is. It means that you cannot show how you got the money to pay for this trip but also that you have no financial incentive to go back to the Philippines and could be considered at risk of immigrating to Spain.
  • You are in a relationship with a Spanish citizen / resident. This is behind the “reasonable doubts as to your intention to leave the territory”. Even under the best of circumstances, this also means you could be tempted to stay in Spain and works against you. Worse, some of the choices you made make it look like you wanted to dissimulate that fact to the consulate, which also make it look as if you had been trying to (mis)use the short-stay visa to move to Spain.

Fiddling with the details of the trip (sponsorship, means of travel, etc.) won't change anything to the fundamentals of your situation. Applying immediately may further support the perception that you are desperate to go to Spain, which makes sense since your girlfriend is there but will still be treated as a red flag by the consulate.

There is nothing stopping you from applying again but from what you told us it sounds like you are in a difficult situation and a refusal is likely no matter what you do. In my opinion, you should only submit a new application if you can present very strong evidence addressing all the points raised in this Q&A.

  • Thank you, I guess I should just wait some time and make my circumstances better before applying again.
    – sook
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:06
  • 1
    @sook Yes definitely. You could also try to meet your girlfriend in other places to further establish evidence of your relationship. I obviously have no idea how the two of you see this relationship but some sort of registered partnership or even marriage and a spousal visa could also be a way to get a visa (as the criteria would then be completely different and your intent to leave Spain would not come into play). One issue here is that you are applying for short-stay visa in a situation where other people may try to immigrate.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:09
  • In all honesty we just want to spend time together in Spain since she has been the one who always come to Philippines to visit me. But since it has come to this we plan on getting married here in the Philippines before trying to get visa again
    – sook
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:18

It's never worth appealing a refusal unless there is an obvious mistake by the officer that would have got your visa accepted if done properly. That is not the case here. If you wish to visit your girlfriend you need to make another application.

You have identified some mistakes you have made, but there are other things that weigh against you. Let me comment on all of those.

  1. You definitely need something from your girlfriend stating she is willing to give you accommodation and support. However if that information is included in the "Carta de Invitacion" then you don't need to duplicate it. But an "invitation" is not the same as providing financial support. You need something from her that states that she will give support and how much, including letting you stay at her place and providing food if appropriate. It is unlikely that the difference between "friend" and "girlfriend" is important. They are just looking for whether the is a blood relative or not.
  2. You definitely need to "mention your girlfriend" if she is the reason for your visit.
  3. You are not "unemployed" if you "full time manage our small family business". You are self-employed. You should say that, and give details of the business. Mentioning it in the cover letter is not enough (and also means the form and the cover letter are saying different things, which is another negative). Being unemployed is definitely a negative as it gives you no reason to return home.
  4. However you also need to explain how you can take three months off from your job to visit your girlfriend in Spain. This will be three months where you are getting no income, and when somebody else will need to manage the family business. Authorities will suspect that this is a fake job, or one you can quit really easily, and that also means it is no reason to return home, which is a negative for your application.
  5. You should not have said you will support yourself with cash if you actually have no money. That makes them think you are not telling the truth. It's OK to support yourself in part but also get support from others, but to support yourself you must actually have cash.
  6. You have not explained why you have no money when you work full time managing a business. If you work full time then you should have some money.
  7. If you have no money it does not make sense for you to be going on a long distance trip. Would it not be better to use the money you spent on a plane ticket to pay rent, or buy food, or invest for the future. Again, this makes the authorities think you have an alternative purpose from visiting your girlfriend.
  8. Going for the maximum time you are allowed looks suspicious. It makes them think you are trying to live in Spain as long as possible. That is especially true when you seem to be taking time off work to make the visit.

You are going to need to make another application. You can do so immediately, provided you fix all the problems with your initial application. You should be aware that this failed application will mean your next one is looked at very carefully, and is more likely to be rejected.

  • "a letter from your girlfriend stating she is willing to give you accommodation and support" sounds very similar to the Carta de Invitacion that the OP already mentioned. At least in the German visa application process these formal invitation letters state exactly this (and are hard to make up because the data of sponsor and applicant are entered into the relevant computer systems when the invitation letter is issued)
    – Jan
    Nov 25, 2023 at 14:58
  • That said, submitting an additional informal letter from your sponsor to the embassy together with your application might be useful as well.
    – Jan
    Nov 25, 2023 at 15:00
  • 1
    @sook It's unlikely to work but to be honest it's unlikely there is anything easy you could do at this point to get a visa.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:01
  • 3
    @sook in many contexts an appeal is strictly limited to challenging a decision as being mistaken taking into account only the information available to the decision maker at the time of the decision. It's possible that this "reconsideration appeal" is an opportunity to submit additional evidence, but you should take care to be very certain of that before trying. If it isn't, a second application with much more evidence and a statement that you hadn't realized the importance of the evidence when assembling your first application will probably not arouse much suspicion.
    – phoog
    Nov 25, 2023 at 16:03
  • 1
    An appeal is not for when you made a mistake in the application. It's for when the officer made a mistake based on the information you gave. He did not make a mistake. Nov 26, 2023 at 3:40

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